Survey: Downtown, Midtown residents want 'active transportation'

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A study shows that people who work and commute in the Midtown/downtown area have a high interest in active transportation.

The study, done by Verdis Group, surveyed more than 8,500 people from the downtown/Midtown area.

Craig Moody of the Verdis Group said the survey "clearly demonstrates that employees are interested in active commuting.

"This becomes an attraction/retention issue," he said.

The mobility study shows whether a shift in active commuting would occur, more than 1,300 parking stalls per day would be free up in downtown/Midtown area. Also, $1.9 m illion in annual parking cost would be saved.

"It will free up a lot of parking spaces. That creates a great opportunity to make Downtown/Midtown more vibrant," said Moody.

Rilee Potter and Shelby Hinman moved from Lincoln and lives off Farnam Street.

They, like 60% percent of respondents, support active transportation.

"It's the Midwest, we all have cars. It's very common for us. I guess Omaha is growing a bit," Potter said.

Verdis Group said Omaha's employers can be a huge catalyst for shifting their employees' travel habits to be more active. That could be through carpooling, a modern streetcar or making the area more walkable.

"Shifting one-way to two-ways is an important aspect to making downtown more walkable and vibrant," Moody said.